Laura Kenny returns to lead England’s cycling team at the Commonwealth Games despite personal grief
Laura Kenny is back after a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy left her at ‘breaking point’… with the five-time Olympic champion to lead England’s cycling charge at the Commonwealth Games
- Laura Kenny is looking forward to another competition at the London velodrome
- Kenny has had a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy since the Tokyo Games
- The Commonwealth Games have given the English cyclist something to focus on
- The track cycling events happen where she won two gold medals at London 2012
Laura Kenny is relishing being back ‘home’ at the London velodrome, 10 years on from that golden Olympic summer, after a double dose of trauma left the cyclist at ‘breaking point’ and ready to give up the sport.
The five-time Olympic champion revealed in April that, after falling pregnant following last summer’s Tokyo Games, she miscarried in November. She then suffered an ectopic pregnancy in January.
“January for me was an absolute tipping point, I was at breaking point,” said Kenny, who is married to retired-cyclist-turned-coach Jason Kenny.
‘I think without Jason I’d have just canned everything. I’d have said: “I can’t even cope with doing any of this anymore”.’ Instead she reached for her ‘safety blanket’ – the bike.
Laura Kenny is focusing on the Commonwealth Games, with the track cycling events in London
‘I think people think I’m mental,’ Kenny said on Monday to the BBC website.
‘But for me that’s home… it feels like a safe place. So the obvious thing for me to do when I felt that sad and that broken was just to go and ride my bike again.’
The 30-year-old added: ‘It made us realize: cycling is one thing but life is another… it really did make you think: why am I doing this? I enjoy it and that’s why I’m doing it. I think It made me realize that more than ever..’
Britain’s most successful female Olympian will compete for England in the team pursuit, scratch, and points race during the Commonwealth Games, which begin this week in Birmingham.
The track cycling will be in London, at the same venue where she won two golds in 2012. ‘I’m just glad to be here,’ she said. “Is that really sad?” Kenny is renting an Airbnb which 10 years ago formed part of the athletes’ village.
She credits her husband Jason Kenny with giving her a reason to continue despite their grief
‘I walked in and thought: “Wow I’m having serious déjà vu”, like I’d been in this flat before. Then I realized of course I had,’ she recalled.
She is sharing a bed with her young son Albie.
‘I was just lying here being like: “Wow, this is mad”. I was messaging Jason and said: “This is 10 years’ on, not much has changed… bar this one wasn’t here.”‘ Kenny had her first session back on the London track yesterday.
‘We’ve got Ernie and Mark – our two mechanics who were at London – and we’re even sitting in the same bit of the velodrome so we were having a right old reminisce, she said.
‘I just love it here…even when I’m walking down the stairs – and it sounds so stupid – but even the smell just brings back memories. It’s my favorite track it’s always going to be.’